Mass Effect 3: Leviathan Review


No one wants to hear what you thought of Mass Effect 3's ending. No one. The hysteria over the trilogy-capping game's final scenes reached a hysterical fever pitch a week or two after its release, but the complaining is now, months later, still popping up in every corner of the Internet. The series of tubes' love for beating a dead horse is as evident here as it is in people who still think "Rickrolling" and "arrow in the knee" jokes are funny, but c'mon guys. Stop.

Rational gamers, the ones who didn't proclaim their boycott of BioWare, the crab people and anyone else they could lay blame on, now have a chance to hop back into Commander Shepard's shoes in the Leviathan DLC pack, which boasts a few hours of welcome single-player gameplay. More importantly, the story it tells ties up a loose end from way back in the original Mass Effect. Even if you don't make that connection (or you are a PS3 owner and have yet to play the original game), the Leviathan DLC adds a little more to the story you already love. And for only $10, you true Mass Effect fans out there can't go wrong.

The Leviathan DLC is meant to take place during Mass Effect 3's storyline, not after the ending as some had hoped. If you played the Bring Down the Sky DLC offered with the first Mass Effect, you may remember the mention of Leviathan, a rogue Reaper that seems to be working against the coming assault by killing its own brethren. Two games later, it is finally time for Shepard to hunt this thing down and get the full story. Things kick off with Admiral Hackett making your crew aware of the existence of this rogue reaper and the Citadel scientist who unearths it. He is promptly killed, so it becomes your job to hunt the Leviathan to its underwater home in a distant part of the galaxy, one you wouldn't have explored otherwise in the main game.

The main thrust of this DLC seems to be the "setpiece" action sequences. During the handful of hours it will take to complete, Leviathan throws a number of summer blockbuster-y scenarios at the player, most of which eclipse the main game's biggest and best sequences. Though fleeting, an underwater mech battle makes the DLC worth the price by itself, and others are nearly as good. These are neatly joined by a side story that can feel a bit like tedious, Carmen Sandiego detective work at times, but the connections to the past games and the knowledge revealed within are enough to make most fans power through the slower parts.

The Leviathan DLC also adds the Dominate power to your roster, though it has only limited usefulness. It gives you the ability to control organic enemies the way other powers grant control over non-organics. It was cool to play around with for a moment, but if you are anything like me, you chose your favorite biotics long ago and any deviation from them just feels wrong. Leviathan also adds a few weapons to your arsenal, but again, most only have limited usefulness.

As I said before, if you felt, as I did, that Mass Effect 3 ended the only way it could have, you'll probably want this DLC. The extra power and weapons aren't all that hot, but the story and action make Leviathan more than worth the cover price. If you are still mad about the way the game ended, the Leviathan DLC probably isn't for you. If you do happen to be one of those complainy-pants fans, I see this as an opportunity to ask a serious question: Why were you so upset with the ending when the inclusion of multiplayer was clearly Mass Effect 3's crime against humanity?

Final Rating: 80%. If you are still mad about the way the game ended, the Leviathan DLC probably isn't for you.